Jane Yolen Greyling

ISBN 13: 9780399222627

Greyling

4.12 avg rating
( 98 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780399222627: Greyling

A selchie, a seal transformed into human form, lives on land with a lonely fisherman and his wife, until the day a great storm threatens the fisherman's life.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-5-- A haunting story of a selchie adopted by a childless couple, first published in 1968 with illustrations by William Stobbs, which shows Yolen's ability to give her work the power and language of legend. The fisherman and his wife know the child is a selchie but hope to keep him in his human form by never allowing him in the sea. Only during a storm does Greyling revert to his seal form, simultaneously rescuing his father from drowning and breaking free of his human bonds. Ray's art is smoother and more defined than Stobbs's. The paintings are framed in white space, with the words clearly separate from the pictures. While Stobbs's people and backgrounds are as craggy and rough as the Shetland Isles setting, Ray has created a romantic, fairy-tale landscape and characters of swirling lines and large expanses of color. Even Greyling is more sea lion than true seal, and the figures seem almost sculptural rather than two-dimensional. Both interpretations are valid and interesting, but Ray's undoubtedly will have more child appeal. This new edition can be used in conjunction with Susan Cooper's The Selkie Girl (McElderry, 1986) and Mordicai Gerstein's The Seal Mother (Dial, 1986). It will also be a good lead-in for older readers to works such as Mollie Hunter's A Stranger Came Ashore (HarperCollins, 1975). --Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Originally published in 1968 with illustrations by William Stobbs, a smoothly-told selchie story reshaped as a parable of a youth leaving his parents. A fisherman--who, with his wife, has long yearned for a child--takes home an orphaned seal that becomes a boy. Fearful that ``Greyling'' will return to the sea, the wife withholds him from it for 15 years, until his adopted father's boat is wrecked in a terrible storm. Greyling rescues the fisherman, but never returns to land. True to their gender prototypes, the wife has expressed her grief at being childless while her husband ``kept his sorrow to himself so that his wife would not know his grief and thus double her own''; again, it is she who clings to the boy and her husband who first points out that Greyling has ``Gone where his heart calls...this way is best.'' Ray's art is heroically powerful, the sculptural forms so sturdily defined that they seem to have congealed, though the figures (especially the seal) do reveal some tenderness. The stylized waves seem unnaturally stiff for such a watery tale, but the overall effect is decorative, even handsome. A worthwhile variant on a tried-and-true formula. (Fiction. 4-10) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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